These stunning photochromed New York postcards were purchased by the Detroit Publishing Company and feature spectacular views of the Big Apple in natural colors.<!– –>
In 1898, the modern city of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), New York County (which then included parts of the Bronx), Richmond County and the western part of the County of Queens.
The opening of the metro in 1904, first built as separate private systems, helped tie the new city together. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a global center for industry, commerce and communication.<!– –>
The photochrom process was invented by Hans Jakob Schmid in the 1880s and involved taking lithographic tablets and coating them with a chemical mixture that would allow them to retouch images with tints of color. In America, the Detroit Publish Company has licensed the technology to use for its own series of American locations.<!– –>
The prints often have a distinctive gold border and one-line description of the location and were primarily made between 1890 and 1910. Photochroms were popular as souvenirs, especially for travelers. People often kept them for photo albums or had them framed.
At the height of its success, the Detroit Publishing Company maintained markets in Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, London and Zurich. They continued to expand their lines by selling pictures in popular shops, tourist spots and also by mail order. During World War I, sales of photographs and postcards began to decline.
With the advent of new inexpensive printing methods used by competing companies, this ultimately wreaked havoc on DPC and forced the company into receivership in 1924. After struggling for the next eight years, the DPC finally liquidated all its assets in 1932.
(Photo credit: Library of Congress).